Athletes and Coaches
Asthma and Athletics
In this day and age it is vital for children to be active and limit "screen time". Asthma has been scientifically linked to obesity. If a child is obese, they are more likely to have asthma. Therefore it is essential that even asthmatic children have an active, unrestricted and full life. When good control is acheived, children should have few to no limitations and should be able to participate in the PE and Sports of their choosing. Physical Educators and Coaching staff can help...
“PROVIDING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT”
Every effort must be made to reduce the likelihood of an asthma emergency and to ensure prompt emergency treatment, if necessary. This is a shared responsibility between the student, parent, athletic staff, school health personnel, and the student’s health care provider.
Athletic staff need to:
• Know of students who have breathing difficulties.
• Always respect the student’s report concerning trouble breathing.
• Request a copy of the student’s Asthma Action Plan or Emergency Care Plan from the school nurse, student, parent or health care provider.
• Encourage students to take their prescribed medication(s) per health care provider orders/action plan.
• Promptly communicate any concerns to the parent and school nurse that a student’s asthma is limiting his/her ability to participate fully in physical activities.
• Follow emergency procedures if a student develops an asthma episode. A severe asthma episode is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not treated
Students with asthma should:
• Take responsibility for their health and safety by knowing asthma symptoms and taking asthma medicines as ordered.
• Recognize signs that medicine/inhaler is not working and seek adult assistance immediately.
• Carry or have available appropriate reliever/rescue medication at all times and recognize when the inhaler is near empty or empty.
• Take prescribed reliever/rescue inhaler as soon as symptoms develop and only resume physical activity when symptom free.
• Report any increase in asthma symptoms to the coach during practice/competition, and to the school nurse, parent, and health care provider afterwards.
• Maintain an adequate supply of controller and/or reliever/rescue inhaler(s) at all times.
• Follow school procedures for self-administration of medications.
• Notify the health care provider if asthma symptoms increase or reliever/rescue inhaler is used more than two times a week for asthma symptoms.
• Keep a spare reliever/rescue inhaler in the health office for emergency use.
• Communicate all relevant information regarding their child’s asthma to the school nurse, athletic director, coach, trainer or staff as the need arises.
Asthma 911 for Athletics is an RCAN program developed by the school committee to help educate Physical Education and Coaching staff on how to manage Asthma in their classroom, while encouraging children to be as active as possible.
Winning with Asthma (www.winningwithasthma.org) is a Minnesota Department of Health program that offers a multi-media 20-30 minute online self-study program, with a "Coaches Clipboard" sent to all particpants upon completion of the program. This program was recently made available to the New York State area, though funding from the NYS Department of Health.
Key Messages for Asthma & Athletics
- Identify the students in your class through your School Health professional
- Ensure quick and accessible medications if necessary (this may mean having all meds in a kit to take out to the fields or having a "no meds, no particiation" policy).
- Educate yourself on the procedures and how to respond in the event of an asthma episode
- Assist students to work around "Exercise Induced Asthma" through modified warm up activities
- Recognize that Asthma is not "in their head" and is a real, prevelent and serious chronic disease.
On average, approximately 3-4 students in each class of 30 students has a diagnosis of Asthma. this chronic lung disease is a part of your every day professional life.
Please feel free to contact the coalition if you would like more information.